Merkelchen for CSM16

My Eve Online Story:

Like most people I started out in High-Sec mining and running missions and wondering why I was broke. I spent the majority of my first 3 months in Eve in an NPC Corp and wandering around while alt-tabbed out watching YouTube videos trying to make sense of what was happening in the game and where the big fights were. I was pretty lonely and didnt have a great handle on how the community aspect of the game worked until a kind Provi recruiter showed up in my local system and started chatting with me. In retrospect this was a big moment for me as it drew me into what was VOLT at the time and got me in a comms channel with a huge group of Eve players that were significantly more helpful and effective than just surfing around YouTube watching videos.

I learned a lot in those days camping the Y-M gate as many have before me and still continue to this day. My Corp was primarily EU TZ and as someone in the US TZ with a demanding job it felt like a ghost town a lot of nights and left me wondering what else was out there. Nearby Brave Newbies had just gotten their start and had moved into some not too distant space so I started flying with them. They had captured something incredible at the time and found a way to harness the sheer excitement and power of the new player. In Brave I was lucky enough to be able to work with a lot of the folks in their leadership(many still around to this day) and served in their nascent spy organization(ha!). At that time Brave had limitless pilots but no capital backbone to speak of so we spent most of our time undocking feroxes and tengus into super wrecking balls and getting absolutely annihilated. It was still a great time that I remember very fondly.

One thing led to another and my friend and I were approached with an opportunity to create a new pilot Corporation in the CFC. It was no secret in Eve that most of the bigger organizations saw what Brave was able to do and realized they needed to get a handle on being able to bring excited new players into their midst not only for the health of their org but because they would quickly find themselves totally outnumbered by these organizations soon enough. There is something about being around new players who are just finding their way in Eve Online that can even invigorate the saltiest of bitter vets. Every newbie grows up eventually and what started as a Cormorant gives way to a Ferox which is eventually a Tengu and then one day a capital ship.

We started KarmaFleet in early 2015 with a core of a half dozen players and the results we were able to establish were far afield from even my most optimistic expectations. I started out as our financial person and #2 working for Markonius Porkbutte but a year or so later I was made the CEO and have been ever since. I started what I believe is Eve’s longest running weekly fleet, Saturday Night Swarm, and we havent missed a single week going back to 2016. I have FC’d 99% of these fleets since its inception with an occasional VIP fill in when Im travelling or my wife makes me go do adult things late night on a Saturday. You may have seen us pass by in local linking our beloved Twitch DJ who is kind enough to spin music for us every week while we fly.

As I look back at the org I helped build with the contribution of what are now hundreds of my friends along the way Im really proud of what it has become. I have faithfully served in my role in that group for going on 6 years without ever wandering off, burning out, or become too full of myself to continue to be available to my friends and Corp mates every single day along the way. Two years ago GSF decided to put me on their CSM ticket and I have spent the last two years doing my best to try to enrich the Council and its relationship with CCP.

My areas of expertise:

I am a well rounded Eve player who has done pretty much everything under the sun within the game. I have motored around highsec in a venture, I have run incursions with that community, I have tried and failed to establish myself in WH space, I have lived in a tiny corp that occupies 1 system, I have lost that 1 system when a big group came and took us to Hammer Town, I have started and led one of Eves largest Corporations, I have worked extensively in Alliance leadership, I have served on 2 CSMs (13/14) and have strong relationships within CCP, and I continue to play Eve Online daily with the same intensity I did when I started a long time ago. Im not too good to try anything out nor am I an unapproachable person.

I understand the games health is greater than simply my daily interaction with it and understand that as a member of the CSM I am not there to advocate for what is good for me. Over a year ago I went on a lot of talk shows and did interviews to talk about a citadel proposal I was going to be making to CCP that, perhaps you remember, very closely resembles the upcoming Forsaken Fortress update and I am very proud of that. In a more pragmatic sense I have a reputation with CCP and on the CSM as a nice person who tries to keep the group focused and on task and I lean on my real world management experience quite a bit in making sure the group has some degree of homeostasis such that we can find accords even with our wildly different perspectives and experiences. Its not important for the CSM to always agree on everything but it is important that the group maintains some semblance of professionalism and is able to take what CCP has to give us and attempt to make it even better.

Why am I applying for the CSM:

Having spent two years on the Council I feel like I have hit my stride and can continue to provide a lot of value. Im sure everyone has heard it said that your first few months on the CSM are spent trying to figure out which way is up and depending on your makeup as a person this is probably true for a lot of people. Practice makes perfect and with two years of experience I know my way around both the CSM and CCP to the extent that I think when something comes up to me I know what to do with it. Fresh new faces on the CSM are incredibly important and make for a good and diverse Council. Likewise retaining some institutional memory and experience serve to cut through a lot of the uncertainty with the group and help chart a course quickly as a new term begins. The last year for Eve Online has been incredibly positive in seeing changes made to old vestigial systems that were sorely in need of attention but there remains a lot of work to do.

What can players expect from me:

I am a happy go lucky person without a lot of natural enemies and I am very unlikely to be a part of any giant meta-snafu or trash talking session about someone else. I am affable, composed, and I have a positive outlook on just about everything. Our beloved CCP Community team referred to me as “possibly, actually one of the nicest Eve players Ive ever met he is like a total sweetheart” at Eve North last year. Professionally, I lead a very large company which has probably helped translate to a lot of the success I have been fortunate enough to have in Eve Online. I find a lot of gratification in still being a part of the every day activities with my group of friends in Eve.

As an established CSM I take the time to respond when people send me messages on Discord with suggestions, I fire back a thank you for the feedback when someone screams at me via in game mail about a feature they dont like, and I continue to hit the undock button more than enough to ever be accused of being out of touch with the game and its community. If youve ever been to Eve Vegas the odds are we have shared real estate at a bar and probably tipped back a drink or twenty.


I think I am voting for you as well, or one of my alts.

This man is an EVE treasure and deserves your support.


<3 The CSM of my heart!

1 Like

I can recommend this empathic and wholesome guy as candidate.


Hey Merk, If you could change 3 things in EVE, what would they be?

Hi Merk, thanks for taking time to talk with me during our run last year. You have my vote, and further I have added you to my List of Endorsements. Best of luck to you.

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